Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Ellen Sheehy et Al., Estimating the Number of Potential Organ Donors in the United States

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Ellen Sheehy et Al., Estimating the Number of Potential Organ Donors in the United States

Article excerpt

349 NEW ENG. J. MED. 667 (2003).

As the need for transplantable organs increases, waiting lists of patients become longer. The authors studied the size and composition of the national pool of brain-dead potential organ donors during a three-year period and, on the basis of these data, considered ways to increase the rate of donation.

The authors reviewed hospital medical records of deaths occurring in the intensive care unit from 1997 through 1999 in the service areas of thirty-six organ-procurement organizations to identify brain-dead potential organ donors. They examined data on characteristics of the potential donors, the processes of referral to organ-procurement organizations and of requesting donations, and the hospitals.

They identified a total of 18,524 brain-dead potential organ donors during the study period. The predicted annual number of brain-dead potential organ donors is between 10,500 and 13,800. The overall consent rate (the number of families agreeing to donate divided by the number of families asked to donate) for 1997 through 1999 was fifty-four percent, and the overall conversion rate (the number of actual donors divided by the number of potential donors) was forty-two percent. …

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